The assessment of DNA markers—mitochondrial DNA in women and Y-DNA in men—to determine: (1) Paternal and maternal lineage (2) Biogeographical and ethnic origin—European, Native American, African, Asian, etc. (3) Human migrations of particular interest to anthropologists
Molecular diagnostics is now mainstream, with public familiarity of the genome, personalized medicine, gene patents, and recreational genomics. Its powerful applications in infectious disease, cancer, and genetics are supported by techniques that produce more data in less time than ever before.
Consider "recreational genomics," which is a very recent development, with firms such as 23andMe (twenty-three being the number of chromosome pairs in human cells) offering simultaneous testing for more than one hundred genetic traits, ranging from the risk of diseases like Parkinson, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes to earwax type and "muscle performance"--all for $399.
In the end, recreational genomics may help to domesticate genetic information by stripping it of its mystery and by educating us about its prognostic limitations.